China to encourage private investment in Africa

16:37, October 09, 2010      

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Zhong Manying, director of west Asian and Africa division under the Ministry of Commerce, said on Friday that China will continue to expand and deepen economic and trade cooperation with African countries based mutual respect, mutual benefit and win-win principles.

Zhong said this during a special conference on the 10th anniversary of China-Africa Cooperation Forum held on Oct. 9. Oct. 10 marks the 10th anniversary of the forum.

Over the past 10 years, China-Africa economic and trade cooperation has developed rapidly. Trade volume between the two countries increased from 10.6 billion U.S. dollars in 2000 when the forum first set up to 91 billion U.S. dollars in 2009.

Zhong noted that African countries are in the process of urbanization and industrialization and are eager to attract more foreign investment, particularly in the manufacturing area. They also hope get more help and support in the field of infrastructure construction. She pointed out that China-Africa economic and trade cooperation has begun to expand to areas including finance, telecommunications, tourism, shipping, trade in services, environmental protection and clean energy.

Chinese private companies are actively investing in Africa with flexible and diversified means to invest. China will encourage private enterprises to invest there. The number of private enterprises investing in Africa accounts for more than 70 percent of the total number of enterprises investing in Africa, according to Chen Lin with the Ministry of Commerce.

Chen Lin also said Africa has become one of the key areas where China's enterprises carry out foreign investment and cooperation. As of August 2010, the volume of China's investment in Africa amounted to 32.3 million U.S. dollars, making up one-tenth or more of China's total foreign investment.

He stressed that the Chinese companies follow international rules when investing in Africa. They foll non-monopolistic and non-exclusive practices and engage in co-development and rational use of resources with African countries and other international companies.

Africa is one of the key areas of China's foreign assistance. As of the end of 2009, China has helped Africa establish nearly 900 sets of projects involving agriculture and animal husbandry fishery, light and textile industries, transportation, education, health and food processing, said Gao Yuanyuan, vice director of foreign aid of the Ministry of Commerce.

Gao also said China has begun to discuss and sign debt relief agreements with African countries and will cancel their due interest-free loan debt as soon as possible. Aid projects such as agriculture demonstration centers, schools, clean energy and other construction projects are under examination and preparation.

On Oct. 10, 2000, the first Ministerial Conference on China-Africa Cooperation held in Beijing and China-Africa Cooperation Forum was established. Over the past 10 years, the Chinese government, under the framework of the forum, introduced many measures, including trade facilitation, encouragement of investment and increased aid, aimed at helping African countries improve capacity for independent development and achieving common development of both China and Africa through economic and trade cooperation

By Liangjun, People's Daily Online


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